The expression "tying the knot" when one speaks of the marriage vows seems to have almost universal meaning. Africans tell of similar "knot-tying" love spells in their own tribes. Somehow it seems the most natural kind of symbolism to visualize the binding of one's self to the object of one's love while the fingers weave the knots and the lips chant a soulful litany. Here is how the ancient love spell of the seven knots was woven:
The magician would take a length of cord or ribbon that would sustain seven knots strung out at a distance of about an inch from one another. According to the ritual, the first knot was to be tied in the middle of the cord with the admonition that the two lovers remain bound to each other from that moment and that their love was in the circle that bound them.
At about the distance of one inch, the conjurer formed the second knot to the right of the first, telling the lovers that their love would endure with the strength of steel. The third knot was tied to the left of the first knot and the lovers were told that they would not be able to break away from one another, even though from time to time their passion might waver. The fourth knot was placed to the right with the message that all good spirits and the Holy Light would always keep the image of the other in the lovers' mind. The fifth knot was done to the left, assuring fidelity throughout their lifetimes. The sixth knot was bound on the right, binding the exclusivity of their affections, one to the other. The last knot, the seventh, was secured to the left and the officiator declared that the two should stand always within the circle of their love and happiness, unable to be separated by any power of Earth.
The incantation completed, the maker of the ritual would then bind the two ends of the cord together and wear it in the manner of a garter upon her or his left arm above the elbow. The "seven-knot-love-garter" was to be worn to bed for seven alternate nights. Upon the fourteenth day, the charm was either to be burned in offering to good spirits or to be hidden in a secret place.